the chef + the recipe + the tools + our camera

Ingredients: Tagliatelle Pasta

Sinking our teeth into more than the food. 

Words: Toni Griffin
Images: Crystal Allen
Chef: Lucas Chandler
Restaurant: Il Posto
Kitchen: Poliform Varenna Twelve

For all those running out of recipes in this stay-at-home era, we’re bringing back stories from our INGREDIENTS series that we ran in the early 2010s, featuring some of Denver’s top chefs preparing dishes in stunning modern kitchens. This week, the series continues with a recipe from then-chef de cuisine of Il Posto, Lucas Chandler, creating a mouth-watering pasta dish in a Poliform kitchen. See below for the recipe for Tagliatelle Pasta with pancetta, charred tomatoes, English peas, mint, and parmesan.

The Chef

For those who still think an Italian dinner means meatballs and checkered tablecloths, listen up. Il Posto is definitely not the same old sauce. It’s a game-changing, high-quality dining experience, and has been for years. “The whole restaurant has a rare chemistry,” says Chef de cuisine Lucas Chandler, who has spent half a decade entertaining pallets at the uncommon Italian restaurant on 17th and Race.

A constantly evolving menu stocked with fresh, organic ingredients are the standard Head Chef and owner Andrea Frizzi set, and that Lucas upholds day-in, day-out. “We’re always asking ourselves how we can present dishes in a way that’s not traditional,” explains Lucas with an energy that allows him to constantly break new ground on the plate.

A diverse background is one commodity Lucas brings to this table of challenging tired out entrees. He earned his culinary degree from Johnson & Wales here in Denver, then proceeded another two years to obtain an additional degree in nutrition. This led Lucas to Colorado Springs to work with a company owned by professional cyclist and coach Chris Carmichael. Afterward, Lucas found himself cooking up healthy dishes for ex-Nuggets star Carmello Anthony as his personal chef.

Healthy ingredients paired with informed experimentation is his recipe for success. “I try to keep food fun and interesting,” Lucas chimes, which makes him a perfect fit for a restaurant that consistently serves up inspired cuisine. “When I go out to eat, I want to experience something different,” he says, and so do we, which is why the ever-changing, ever-interesting menu at Il Posts stirs up our appetite. As far as Lucas is concerned, restaurant goers should expect nothing less than a pleasant surprise.

The Kitchen

Streamlined, sleek and solid. Lucas created an incredible dish in the Varenna Twelve kitchen by Poliform. “This kitchen is based on the use of twelve millimeter dimensions,” says Matt Smith, a designer at Studio Como where one of many versions of this kitchen is on display. Thin, horizontal lines delightfully balance the width of this composite quartz worktop in Ravensand. The 12mm edges are eye-catching yet subtle, brining a lightness to the space that is lost on so many clunky American kitchens. 

Characterized by a lack of hardware and handles, this design is seamless but functional as protruding edges give you plenty to grab on to. “The magic corner is a big hit as well,” Matt says, opening a door that will no doubt eventually kick Lazy Susans to the curb. It’s a corner storage unit that Poliform created for maximum space efficiency and usability. It glides forward and out, making an easy access point for all those tucked away items. Motion sensor lights bring a bright welcome when pulling on any drawer—like opening a treasure chest every time you cook. 

Up top, back painted glass creates a splashguard behind a Blanco sink. Flip-up doors on the upper cabinets are a nice ergonomic touch, making it easy to move from storage to the Miele cooktop and dishwasher. A Spessart Oak finish hugs the kitchen in richness and warmth—a quality Poliform has down to an exact science, or an art, or both. Ultimately, with thoughtful design and attention to function, this is the perfect place to assemble a delicious Il Posto dish, or any other dish for that matter.